Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

After seven years of work, campaigners have finally forced European nations to examine whether the latest generations of headlights are dangerously bright...
Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

We’ve all been dazzled by headlights at some point, whether it’s from oncoming traffic or someone behind, only to discover that the offending car is actually on dipped beam. Some of the latest LED and xenon units are vicious.

A United Nations Working Party, which includes representation from the UK, has started to look at the issue following a growing number of public complaints dating back (in this country, at least) to the ‘Lightmare’ campaign that was started in 2011 by a London-based taxi driver.

Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

An RAC survey suggests that 65 per cent of people are ‘regularly dazzled’ by oncoming headlights, with 15 per cent admitting to a near-miss that they blame on dazzling lights. Most of these people say it takes them up to five seconds to get their full sight back, by which time, if they’re holding 60mph, they can have travelled 134m. Not good, and even opticians don’t like it.

The latest designs of headlights are brighter and whiter, illuminating the road with not just more light, but a more natural colour of beam that’s less strenuous for the driver’s eye. Not as much thought has been given to other drivers on the road, perhaps, with 68 per cent of people saying they had difficulty in judging whether a car’s indicators were on because its headlights were so bright.

Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

All cars sold in the UK have headlights that technically conform to the EU’s current standards, but campaigners want the standards to be changed. RAC spokesman Pete Williams said:

“While regulations specify that all types of dipped headlights must fall between a maximum and minimum luminosity the night-time driving experience of motorists of all ages is very different with many saying dipped beams of some modern vehicles are too bright.

“We look forward to seeing the progress of the United Nations’ vehicle lighting working group in April.”



From my experience, Mercedes LED headlights really suck and it’s not just Mercedes. I totally support some regulations/norms which would ensure us that new cars won’t try to burn our eyes.

03/26/2018 - 12:43 |
0 | 0

It’s especially noticeable in an older car without tinted windows. When I drive the E30 at night just about anyone following behind in a more modern car illuminates the whole interior.

03/26/2018 - 13:00 |
0 | 0

Sounds like a bright idea

03/26/2018 - 13:15 |
0 | 0

I almost had a head on collision because a c-class was riding over a bump slowly.

03/26/2018 - 13:25 |
0 | 0
Michael R. T. Jensen

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Something tells me that both the #Focus and I will be tagged in this post a few times. LoL

03/26/2018 - 14:18 |
6 | 0

There really should be some way to dim them based on the surrounding cars, not just low or high beam

03/26/2018 - 14:27 |
0 | 0
Martin Burns

MattKimberley dunno if it’s true overseas, but even as a young relatively fit person with nearly perfect vision I have almost crashed more than once due to emergency vehicles lights, namely the blues of the police.

I can fully admit to this without shame: driving on a rural road in Vermont, USA late at night I hadn’t seen another car in several minutes and I was adjusted to the dark, all of a sudden over a steep hill crest comes a police car in the opposite direction lights flashing. I felt a hole where my heart should be, put the car in neutral and quite rapidly came to a full stop and had a full on panic attack. Honestly had no idea what had just happened… and all that had happened was that a police car simply driven by me. It was THAT dazzling…

Makes my blood boil now, all the overly-bright lights on the road…

03/26/2018 - 15:16 |
2 | 0

I totally agree! British emergency service lights are the same. They really should be dimmed after dusk; it’s not like anyone who’s awake will have trouble seeing them on a lower brightness setting, and as they are, I feel they’re far too dazzling.

03/27/2018 - 06:03 |
0 | 0

Mercedes are a big culprit of the ‘lightmare’. It’s a real struggle when you’re driving on an unlit motorway and they’re in the same lines of cars as you - really blinding to check your mirrors!

03/26/2018 - 15:21 |
2 | 0
George p

Yes, They are too bright, and useless when its dark.

03/26/2018 - 16:19 |
0 | 0

Here in the US, we have the same problem. Yeah you’ll most likely have this problem with SUVs, crossovers, and trucks but I’ve also had a fair share of new cars blinding me too. As well as old obes with new lamps that are badly installed or too f#*!ing bright to begin with! Something has to change.

03/26/2018 - 16:28 |
0 | 0


Sponsored Posts